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Author Topic: Mixoff Contest with Barry Wood - Win Barry's New Book!  (Read 82491 times)

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July 25, 2011, 09:00:03 PM
Aiight, de-fizzed the guitars (I have rambled before about how I question unilaterally radically changing tracks I am presented with, but since it is the judge what said to do it ...) what of course required other adjustments, mostly EQ and levels, and caused me to add a bit more compression on the lead vocal; anywhat, strike 3:

http://soundcloud.com/vvv-4/ambitions-vvvmix3


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July 25, 2011, 11:48:43 PM

Spot the person who was rushing to get an entry in!  Yep me!  Very embarrassing.

Thanks for for letting me know, I just updated the file!

http://dl.dropbox.com/u/4177730/AllHandsLost-1.mp3

websoul
The mix seems to lose volume at the end of the intro when the beat kicks in. Dropping the level of the intro guitars ought to restore the impact. The guitar tone on the first half of the song is pretty different from the last half. I would try to beef up the first-half guitars and give a little more edge to last half. That might help alleviate the apparent volume drop at the end of the intro.

Since the majority of the mix is dry you should think about lowering the vocal effect level so they don't feel so separate from the rest of the mix. That being said, I really liked the effect that you used on the scream, don't touch that.

The drums sound pretty punchy and tight. The half-open high hat parts sound a little thick in the mid range, particularly on the first chorus.

Overall this is another solid mix.

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July 26, 2011, 12:04:45 AM
Hello all I am new to this place and I got to say this seems like one heck of a cool place to learn. I have learned a ton just from the time I have been here. Anyways I thought I would try this contest out to see what kind of feedback I get. Here is the link to my file http://www.box.net/shared/o883novf94a160hygj5h

I will definitely be commenting on other peoples mixes and being an active part of this community.

Thanks alot.

Trump

trumpino1
There are some good things going on in this mix tone-wise but I think what's really lacking is dynamic processing. It doesn't sound like you've got any compression going on and the bass and drums in particular are really calling for it.

Arguably, compression is the sound of rock 'n roll. The satisfying splat of a snare, the solid bottom end of a bass track and vocal that stays on top of a raging band are all accomplished with various form of compression. That compression can come from a compressor, tape compression, or the compression that an overdriven amp creates. Used right, you get a mix that "in your face" that sounds loud but still has punch. Used poorly you can easily end up with a lifeless pile of goo.

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July 26, 2011, 12:39:28 AM
stickfigure
The first thing that struck me with this mix is that the vocals seemed like they were pretty far out in front of everything else. One trick that I've found useful for gauging the overall balance is to listen to the mix at a very low level; if you can still hear everything you've probably got a good balance. When I do that with this mix it becomes apparent that the vocals are too loud. Many of the vocal effects work well but they're kind of in your face. Dropping the overall vocal level might be enough to keep the effects from being too much.

I think you've got the guitar tone tamed pretty well, which is difficult with these tracks. The snare sounds a little over crispy, it's possible that you're using too much of the bottom snare mic. As in many of the other mixes, the bass needs some help to get into a place where it's going to really support the track.

The vocal edit in the bridge was kind of cool. That part rock pretty hard and it's nice to let the instruments go a bit before the vocal comes in.

Hi, Barry!
Thanks for the feedback. I guess I left the vocals so upfront because I felt they were clashing with the guitars and it was the only way for them to be heard. I just spread the guitars a bit and managed to find room for the vocals and tuck them in the mix.
Fixed the snare sound, although it wasn't quite a st. anger, was it? ;)
The bass... well, I'm still scratching my head over it... re-amped it, re-equed it... it's better, but far from perfect... like peterjk's... :)
Regarding the vocal edit on the bridge, didn't really know if I was stepping out of boundaries but that vocal line just felt better a little later, next to the part with lyrics.
Oh, and I also loved the-grid's muting at the last line! So much that... well, you get the point...  :-[ ;)

here's the revised (and probably final) mix:
http://dl.dropbox.com/u/24873953/AllHandsLost-Ambitions%20-%20Stickfigure%20mix%20v3.mp3

Thanks!!!



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July 26, 2011, 12:52:16 AM
I've made it through the critique process for all the mixes that were posted through July 19th and are a few days left for everyone to post revisions :)

There were a couple of people who posted their first mixes after the deadline. If I can squeeze it in, I'll try to get a critique up for them, no promises though.

As I mentioned in an earlier post, I'm not taking overall volume into consideration at all. For critique purposes I've created a project where I have all the mixes loaded up in a stack of stereo tracks. Before I do any critiques I adjust the fader so that each mix is at essentially the same volume. the quieter mix end up with faders higher than those that are louder. That evens out the playing field and allows me to get as close to comparing "apples to apples" as I can.

Here is a screen grab of my mixer showing the first 24 mixes:



On the 29th I download all the mixes up to the 28th and will announce that day.

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July 26, 2011, 08:28:46 AM
Here is my last submission take 2 :-)

www.polyphon-recording.de/_uploads/AllHandsLost-Ambitions-dirkzuber-final-2.mp3

Thank you Barry for your great tips.


Dirk Zuber


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July 27, 2011, 09:51:42 AM
The overall tone of your mix is really good. The drums are nice and punchy and the bass has good presence. I would bring the guitars down a dB or so overall and see if that makes gives the mix more impact by letting the other tracks have more space.

Something strange is happening with the bass at 0:43 where there are notes played that are not in the original track.

At 0:58 and 2:13 in the pre-chorus where you adding the vocal effect it sounds like your 2-bus compressor is really kicking in. It's possible that the effect is generating excessive low end that's causing the compressor to act. You may need to use a high-pass filter the effect.

BTW, I absolutely love the muting going at the last vocal line, that adds a lot of drama to the end and the lyric is perfect there. If I were the band I'd start playing the song that way from now on.

Hi Barry, many thanks for your encouraging critique. I've incorporated your suggestions/comments - plus a couple of other refinements - in the following mix:

http://soundcloud.com/the-grid-studios/ambitions-ah-mix-v2

Embarrassed about the bass at 0:43 - I spent two days on editing duty here, and put this uncharacteristic lapse down to snow-blindness at the end of day 1! Thanks for spotting that.

The pre-chorus problem was caused by an over-enthusiastic ducker keyed from the vocal. I've calmed him down now.

Hope this mix delivers the necessary improvements!

Best

Alex
Grid is good.

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July 27, 2011, 10:16:33 AM
Hi everybody

Thanks to "All Hands Lost" for the song, and to Barry for being the judge and for the comments.
First I would like to say that I am not a mixing engineer (as a matter of fact, I am an engineer, but not audio related), but I really like all things audio related and I just started learning all this about mixing. I don't have any kind of equipment for this task, so I had to do all this in a friends computer (who is a musician). I liked it so much that I bought a license for Studio One and some plugins  ;D.
I am a little late to the party, but here is my attempt at a mix:
http://dl.dropbox.com/u/36480005/All%20Hands%20Lost%20-%20Ambitions%20-%20MixOff%20-%20AOF.mp3

I hope I can participate, even though I didn't submit a mix before.
« Last Edit: July 27, 2011, 10:35:27 AM by Aof »

July 27, 2011, 02:41:36 PM
First off, big thanks for the feedback.  Really appreciate it!!  I've made a few changes based on your feedback and also a few other tweaks here and there.

Here is the file: http://dl.dropbox.com/u/4177730/AllHandsLost-Updated.mp3
And comments below  :)

websoul
The mix seems to lose volume at the end of the intro when the beat kicks in. Dropping the level of the intro guitars ought to restore the impact.
I've dropped the guitars a few db and also dropped a compressed drum group a whole bunch of db's, which are then pushed back up when the full band kicks in.

The guitar tone on the first half of the song is pretty different from the last half. I would try to beef up the first-half guitars and give a little more edge to last half. That might help alleviate the apparent volume drop at the end of the intro.
This was actually intentional.  There is a different intensity from the first part of the song to the last part.  So I tried an EQ difference on the guitars to try and emphasis this.  I've now gone for a different approach with the guitars as they are EQ'd the same, but different from the first try.  The outro is still slightly different as the compression is different to help with the change in the songs intensity.

Since the majority of the mix is dry you should think about lowering the vocal effect level so they don't feel so separate from the rest of the mix. That being said, I really liked the effect that you used on the scream, don't touch that.
Glad you liked the effect with the scream.  It was the first thing that I thought of when hearing the original mix.  I have also dropped the reverb lots from the vocal.  There is a tiny bit there, just not as prominent.

The drums sound pretty punchy and tight. The half-open high hat parts sound a little thick in the mid range, particularly on the first chorus.
I've changed the EQ and compression on the high hat.  Hopefully that's done the trick.  Also tweaked the snare's slightly.

Overall this is another solid mix.
Thanks Barry, and hopefully I've improved on it.

Just a side note, not totally sure, but I get a feeling the bass tracks are labelled incorrectly.  I actually think they are reversed, so the bass DI is actually the Mic'd and the Mic'd is the DI, if you see what I mean.  If you crank up the volume and pan the parts, on the intro and outro you can hear talking and background noise on the DI track but not the mic.

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July 27, 2011, 04:54:38 PM
Here's my final submission: http://dl.dropbox.com/u/11332908/AllHandsLost_mix_12.mp3

I did some small tweaks based on Barry's feedback, but I didn't have time to really have another critical listen, so this will have to suffice :)

Thanks Barry and John, good stuff!
I'm cleaning up my server, but you can find some of the mixes I did on this forum here: http://soundcloud.com/stefhartog